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The Kalevala, by John Martin Crawford, [1888], at



LOUHI, hostess of Pohyola,
Called her many tribes together,
Gave the archers bows and arrows,
Gave her brave men spears and broadswords;
Fitted out her mightiest war-ship,
In the vessel placed her army,
With their swords a hundred heroes,
With their bows a thousand archers;
Quick erected masts and sail-yards,
On the masts her sails of linen
Hanging like the clouds of heaven,
Like the white-clouds in the ether,
Sailed across the seas of Pohya,
To re-take the wondrous Sampo
From the heroes of Wainola.

Wainamoinen, old and faithful,
Sailed across the deep, blue waters,
Spake these words to Lemminkainen:
"O thou daring son of Lempo,
Best of all my friends and heroes,
Mount the highest of the topmasts,
Look before you into ether,
Look behind you at the heavens,
Well examine the horizon,
Whether clear or filled with trouble."

Climbed the daring Lemminkainen,
Ever ready for a venture,
To the highest of the mastheads;
Looked he eastward, also westward,
Looked he northward, also southward,
Then addressed wise Wainamoinen.
"Clear the sky appears before me,
But behind a dark horizon;
In the north a cloud is rising,
And a longer cloud at north-west."
Wainamoinen thus made answer:
Art thou speaking truth or fiction?
I am fearful that the war-ships
Of Pohyola are pursuing;
Look again with keener vision."

Thereupon wild Lemminkainen
Looked again and spake as follows:
"In the distance seems a forest,
In the south appears an island,
Aspen-groves with falcons laden,
Alders laden with the wood-grouse."
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
"Surely thou art speaking falsehood;
'Tis no forest in the distance,
Neither aspen, birch, nor alders,
Laden with the grouse, or falcon;
I am fearful that Pohyola
Follows with her magic armies;
Look again with keener vision."

Then the daring Lemminkainen
Looked the third time from the topmast,
Spake and these the words be uttered:
"From the north a boat pursues us,
Driven by a hundred rowers,
Carrying a thousand heroes!"

Knew at last old Wainamoinen,
Knew the truth of his inquiry,
Thus addressed his fleeing people:
"Row, O blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
Row, O mighty Lemminkainen,
Row, all ye my noble oarsmen,
That our boat may skim the waters,
May escape from our pursuers!"

Rowed the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
Rowed the mighty Lemminkainen,
With them rowed the other heroes;
Heavily groaned the helm of birch-wood,
Loudly rattled all the row-locks;
All the vessel shook and trembled,
Like a cataract it thundered
As it plowed the waste of waters,
Tossing sea-foam to the heavens.
Strongly rowed Wainola's forces,
Strongly were their arms united;
But the distance did not widen
Twixt the boat and their pursuers.

Quick the hero, Wainamoinen,
Saw misfortune hanging over,
Saw destruction in the distance
Heavy-hearted, long reflecting,
Trouble-laden, spake as follows:
"Only is there one salvation,
Know one miracle for safety!"

Then he grasped his box of tinder,
From the box he took a flint-stone,
Of the tinder took some fragments,
Cast the fragments on the waters,
Spake these words of master-magic.
"Let from these arise a mountain
From the bottom of the deep-sea,
Let a rock arise in water,
That the war-ship of Pohyola,
With her thousand men and heroes,
May be wrecked upon the summit,
By the aid of surging billows."

Instantly a reef arises,
In the sea springs up a mountain,
Eastward, westward, through the waters.
Came the war-ship of the Northland,
Through the floods the boat came steering,
Sailed against the mountain-ledges,
Fastened on the rocks in water,
Wrecked upon the Mount of Magic.
In the deep-sea fell the topmasts,
Fell the sails upon the billows,
Carried by the winds and waters
O'er the waves of toil and trouble.

Louhi, hostess of Pohyola,
Tries to free her sinking vessel,
Tries to rescue from destruction;
But she cannot raise the war-ship,
Firmly fixed upon the mountain;
Shattered are the ribs and rudder,
Ruined is the ship of Pohya.

Then the hostess of the Northland,
Much disheartened, spake as follows:
"Where the force, in earth or heaven,
That will help a soul in trouble?"

Quick she changes form and feature,
Makes herself another body;
Takes five sharpened scythes of iron,
Also takes five goodly sickles,
Shapes them into eagle-talons;
Takes the body of the vessel,
Makes the frame-work of an eagle;
Takes the vessel's ribs and flooring
Makes them into wings and breastplate;
For the tail she shapes the rudder;
In the wings she plants a thousand
Seniors with their bows and arrows;
Sets a thousand magic heroes
In the body, armed with broadswords
In the tail a hundred archers,
With their deadly spears and cross-bows,
Thus the bird is hero-feathered.
Quick she spreads her mighty pinions,
Rises as a monster-eagle,
Flies on high, and soars, and circles
With one wing she sweeps the heavens,
While the other sweeps the waters.
Spake the hero's ocean-mother:
"O thou ancient Wainamoinen,
Turn thy vision to the north-east,
Cast thine eyes upon the sunrise,
Look behind thy fleeing vessel,
See the eagle of misfortune!"

Wainamoinen turned as bidden,
Turned his vision to the north-east,
Cast his eyes upon the sunrise,
There beheld the Northland-hostess,
Wicked witch of Sariola,
Flying as a monster-eagle,
Swooping on his mighty war-ship;
Flies and perches on the topmast,
On the sail-yards firmly settles;
Nearly overturns the vessel
Of the heroes of Wainola,
Underneath the weight of envy.

Then the hero, Ilmarinen,
Turned to Ukko as his refuge,
Thus entreated his Creator:
"Ukko, thou O God in heaven,
Thou Creator full of mercy,
Guard us from impending danger,
That thy children may not perish,
May not meet with fell destruction.
Hither bring thy magic fire-cloak,
That thy people, thus protected,
May resist Pohyola's forces,
Well may fight against the hostess
Of the dismal Sariola,
May not fall before her weapons,
May not in the deep-sea perish!"

Then the ancient Wainamoinen
Thus addressed the ancient Louhi:
"O thou hostess of Pohyola,
Wilt thou now divide the Sampo,
On the fog-point in the water,
On the island forest-covered?
Thus the Northland hostess answered:
"I will not divide the Sampo,
Not with thee, thou evil wizard,
Not with wicked Wainamoinen!"

Quick the mighty eagle, Louhi,
Swoops upon the lid in colors,
Grasps the Sampo in her talons;
But the daring Lemminkainen
Straightway draws his blade of battle,
Draws his broadsword from his girdle,
Cleaves the talons of the eagle,
One toe only is uninjured,
Speaks these magic words of conquest:
"Down, ye spears, and down, ye broadswords,
Down, ye thousand witless heroes,
Down, ye feathered hosts of Louhi!"

Spake the hostess of Pohyola,
Calling, screeching, from the sail-yards:
"O thou faithless Lemminkainen,
Wicked wizard, Kaukomieli,
To deceive thy trusting mother!
Thou didst give to her thy promise,
Not to go to war for ages,
Not to war for sixty summers,
Though desire for gold impels thee,
Though thou wishest gold and silver!

Wainamoinen, ancient hero,
The eternal wisdom-singer,
Thinking he had met destruction,
Snatched the rudder from the waters,
With it smote the monster-eagle,
Smote the, eagle's iron talons,
Smote her countless feathered heroes.
From her breast her hosts descended,
Spearmen fell upon the billows,
From the wings descend a thousand,
From the tail, a hundred archers.
Swoops again the bird of Pohya
To the bottom of the vessel,
Like the hawk from birch or aspen,
Like the falcon from the linden;
Grasps the Sampo with one talon,
Drags the treasure to the waters,
Drops the magic lid in colors
From the red rim of the war-ship
To the bottom of the deep-sea,
Where the Sampo breaks in pieces,
Scatters through the Alue-waters,
In the mighty deeps for ages,
To increase the ocean's treasures,
Treasures for the hosts of Ahto.
Nevermore will there be wanting
Richness for the Ahto-nation,
Never while the moonlight brightens
On the waters of the Northland.

Many fragments of the Sampo
Floated on the purple waters,
On the waters deep and boundless,
Rocked by winds and waves of Suomi,
Carried by the rolling billows
To the sea-sides of Wainola.

Wainamoinen, ancient minstrel,
Saw the fragments of the treasure
Floating on the billows landward,
Fragments of the lid in colors,
Much rejoicing, spake as follows:
"Thence will come the sprouting seed-grain,
The beginning of good fortune,
The unending of resources,
From the plowing and the sowing,
From the glimmer of the moonlight,
From the splendor of the sunshine,
On the fertile plains of Suomi,
On the meads of Kalevala."

Louhi, hostess of Pohyola,
Thus addressed old Wainamoinen:
"Know I other mighty measures,
Know I means that are efficient,
And against thy golden moonlight,
And the splendor of thy sunshine,
And thy plowing, and thy reaping;
In the rocks I'll sink the moonbeams,
Hide the sun within the mountain,
Let the frost destroy thy sowings,
Freeze the crops on all thy corn-fields;
Iron-hail I'll send from heaven,
On the richness of thine acres,
On the barley of thy planting;
I will drive the bear from forests,
Send thee Otso from the thickets,
That he may destroy thy cattle,
May annihilate thy sheep-folds,
May destroy thy steeds at pasture.
I will send thee nine diseases,
Each more fatal than the other,
That will sicken all thy people,
Make thy children sink and perish,
Nevermore to visit Northland,
Never while the moonlight glimmers
On the plains of Kalevala!"
Thus the ancient bard made answer:
"Not a Laplander can banish
Wainamoinen and his people;
Never can a Turyalander
Drive my tribes from Kalevala;
God alone has power to banish,
God controls the fate of nations,
Never trusts the arms of evil,
Never gives His strength to others.
As I trust in my Creator,
Call upon benignant Ukko,
He will guard my crops from danger
Drive the Frost-fiend from my corn-fields,
Drive great Otso to his caverns.

"Wicked Louhi of Pohyola,
Thou canst banish evil-doers,
In the rocks canst hide the wicked,
In thy mountains lock the guilty;
Thou canst never hide the moonlight,
Never bide the silver sunshine,
In the caverns of thy kingdom.
Freeze the crops of thine own planting,
Freeze the barley of thy sowing,
Send thine iron-hail from heaven
To destroy the Lapland corn-fields,
To annihilate thy people,
To destroy the hosts of Pohya;
Send great Otso from the heather,
Send the sharp-tooth from the forest,
To the fields of Sariola,
On the herds and flocks of Louhi!"

Thus the wicked hostess answered:
"All my power has departed,
All my strength has gone to others,
All my hope is in the deep-sea;
In the waters lies my Sampo!"

Then the hostess of Pohyola
Home departed, weeping, wailing,
To the land of cold and darkness;
Only took some worthless fragments
Of the Sampo to her people;
Carried she the lid to Pohya,
In the blue-sea left the handle;
Hence the poverty of Northland,
And the famines of Pohyola.

Wainamoinen, ancient minstrel,
Hastened to the broad-sea's margin,
Stepped upon the shore in joyance;
Found there fragments of the Sampo,
Fragments of the lid in colors,
On the borders of the waters,
On the curving sands and sea-sides;
Gathered well the Sampo-relics
From the waters near the fog-point,
On the island forest-covered.

Spake the ancient Wainamoinen,
Spake these words in supplication:
"Grant, O Ukko, our Creator,
Grant to us, thy needful children,
Peace, and happiness, and plenty,
That our lives may be successful,
That our days may end in honor,
On the vales and hills of Suomi,
On the prairies of Wainola,
In the homes of Kalevala!

"Ukko, wise and good Creator,
Ukko, God of love and mercy,
Shelter and protect thy people
From the evil-minded heroes,
From the wiles of wicked women,
That our country's plagues may leave us,
That thy faithful tribes may prosper.
Be our friend and strong protector,
Be the helper of thy children,
In the night a roof above them,
In the day a shield around them,
That the sunshine may not vanish,
That the moonlight may not lessen,
That the killing frosts may leave them,
And destructive hail pass over.
Build a metal wall around us,
From the valleys to the heavens;
Build of stone a mighty fortress
On the borders of Wainola,
Where thy people live and labor,
As their dwelling-place forever,
Sure protection to thy people,
Where the wicked may not enter,
Nor the thieves break through and pilfer,
Never while the moonlight glistens,
And the Sun brings golden blessings
To the plains of Kalevala."

Next: Rune XLIV. Birth of the Second Harp.